The National Hydrology Project will receive $175 million from the World Bank, with the World Bank Board approving it on Wednesday. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) will grant this loan which has a maturity period of 23 years. It will also come with a six year grace period.
The project will enable institutions to monitor the water situation, giving them the necessary finances to use real-time flood forecast systems. With a number of regions in India prone to flooding, this would help reduce the destruction caused by them. Agencies will now be able to provide alerts, ensuring reduced loss of life.
The cost of this project is estimated at Rs.3,679 crore, with the World Bank providing 50% financial assistance. The government aims to implement the project by 2023-24. The government will also establish a National Water Informatics Center at a cost of Rs.39 crore under this project.
Indian agencies have successfully executed two similar projects in the past, the Hydrology Project-1 (HP1) and Hydrology Project-2 (HP2). These projects enabled authorities to provide real-time flood alerts in the Krishna basin in South India and the Sutlej-Beas basin in North-West India.
The National Hydrology Project will cover a wider region compared to the previous projects. It will provide real-time flood forecast in the states fed by the Ganga, and Brahmaputra-Barak river basins. The Union Cabinet approved the project in April 2016.
Given the fact that rainfall in India is highly unpredictable, with over 50% of it happening in the span of a month, this system would help states equip themselves in a better manner. Authorities can also monitor other details like the amount of rainfall/snow in catchment areas, amount of water which can reach a particular reservoir, the amount of silt build-up, etc.